New Delhi, May 2 : The Opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is observing a general strike today to protest against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government's inability to control rising prices of essential commodities.
The strike call was given on April 22 after an NDA meeting chaired by Leader of the Opposition L K Advani. Leaders of Akali Dal, Biju Janata Dal leader (BJD) and Shiv Sena attended the meeting.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that it was going to be the party's programme and its allies would have separate protest plans.
Javadekar demanded a separate consumer price index (CPI) of 50 essential commodities as the inflation figures of the Industry Ministry on the basis of the wholesale price index (WPI) does not reflect the ground reality.
Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav said his party would not be part of today's strike as it had already held an agitation on the issue of price rise.
On Thursday, NDA leaders submitted a memorandum to Bihar Governor R.S. Gavai in Patna demanding the dismissal of the government responsible for the inflationary surge.
The leaders urged the Governor to send the memorandum to President Pratibha Patil so that their demands could be met forthwith.
"The way prices of essential commodities are rising in the entire country, there has been no productive effort to control the rising prices. The government has not taken any steps to control inflation. It has wrought havoc in the entire country and poor people are badly affected," said Nand Kishore Yadav, State Convener, NDA.
They also burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Meanwhile, the women's cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a march holding torches and placards while raising slogans against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
They also burnt an effigy of the Prime Minister as a part of their demonstration seeking a curb on prices.
"We, the daughters of India won't tolerate this runaway rise in prices of essential commodities. The government has to take steps to control the rising prices, otherwise we will continue to stage demonstrations in every nook and corner against the price rise," said Sarita Rai, a member of the women's cell.
"We will give the government a fitting reply during the forthcoming elections about the consequences of inflation," Sarita added.
Story first published: Friday, May 2, 2008, 11:02 [IST]